With the first part of our salmon fishing season closed, offshore anglers now have their sights set on Pacific halibut. And since Monday, there have been many on track for the Eureka and Trinidad fleets. The Eureka boats had a little more trouble because of the abundance of black cod prowling the halibut bottoms. In some places it is difficult to get bait to the bottom without it being eaten or mangled by hungry cod. But when you find that spot where your bait can bottom out safely, you’re good to go. Trinidad has produced limits for charters and private boats since the salmon season closed. Most fish come straight out of the harbor in 250 to 300 feet of water. No monsters have yet been reported, with an average size of around 20-30 pounds. With usable water in the forecast until at least Saturday, now is the time to take action.
Weekend Marine Forecast
Ocean conditions look largely fishable through Saturday. On Friday the winds will be westerly at 5 knots with westerly waves of 6 feet at 10 seconds. Saturday’s forecast calls for westerly winds of 5 to 10 knots and a westerly swell of 5 feet to 10 seconds. On Sunday, the northerly winds will start to increase and are expected to blow up to 15 knots. Waves will come from the northwest at 6 feet at six seconds. These conditions can and will change by the weekend. For up-to-date weather forecasts, visit www.weather.gov/eureka/ Where www.windy.com. You can also call the National Weather Service at 443-7062 or the Woodley Island office at 443-6484.
After a windy and rainy weekend, the boats were back on the water Monday in search of halibut. According to Tim Klassen of Reel Steel Sport Fishing, there is a large area of fish outside of Eureka. “Halibut were caught from line 42 north to line 51,” Klassen said. “There seems to be plenty of fish there, but black cod always make it hard to keep your bait. If you can find a cod-free area that has halibut, you’ll be fine. Redfish bites on the cape Mendocino is producing as expected There is a lot of variety at the moment – on our last trip we browsed 12 different varieties.
According to Curt Wilson of Wind Rose Charters, the halibut bite is wide open for guys who put in the time. “Most fish come straight out of the harbor at 250 to 300 feet,” Wilson said. “There’s been quite a few bounds caught in the last few days. The redfish bite is still good, and we’re seeing more ling this year than in years past. The crabbing has been great, we moved our rings in waters shallow we see a lot of quality goalkeepers.” The Port of Trinidad and Seascape Pier are hosting a big fish (salmon and halibut) and photo contest starting June 1. Registration is done at the bait shop and is free.
“Salmon fishing has been pretty slow this past week, with the top boats averaging half a fish per angler,” said Jake Mitchell of Sea Hawk Sport Fishing. “Most of the effort has been around the buoys. Rock fishing remains excellent with easy limits, but lingcod have been a little harder to find. We, along with a few other boats, took advantage of the flat weather the past few days and ran to Gorda and Rogers Break for redfish and halibut. Halibut fishing has been really good.
A few Pacific halibut have been caught, but there aren’t many boats trying, reports Britt Carson of Englund Marine in Crescent City. He said: “The few halibut caught come from the southern reef in 220 to 240 feet of water. The rockfish action is constant, with fairly easy limits. There are also quite a few lingcod. California hasn’t shown in big numbers yet.There is a bit of effort but I think the water is still a little cold.
As anglers await the June 18 salmon opening in Brookings, they are successfully targeting rockfish and lingcod, reports Andy Martin of Brookings Fishing Charters. “High water from last weekend’s rain made the Chetco muddy and slowed sea fishing near the mouth, making the Bird Island and Twins Rocks area the best bet,” Martin said. “Halibut fishing is slow, but a few fish a day are brought in.”
According to Martin, the Rogue is between races, with the spring salmon nearly complete and the fall kings still several weeks away. “With high flows, trolling in the bay won’t be starting anytime soon. Fishing has improved in the Shady Cove and Gold Hill areas of upper Rogue.”
Submit your fish photos
Landing a big lingcod or halibut lately? Or maybe your friend or relative staggered into their first perch. Email your fishing photos to [email protected] and I’ll post them with the weekly Fishing the North Coast column. Just include the name of the angler in the photo, where and when it was taken, and any other details you want to share.
Kenny Priest (he/him) operates Fishing the North Coast, a Humboldt fishing guide service specializing in salmon and rainbow trout. Find him on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and www.fishingthenorthcoast.com. For up to date fishing reports and information on the North Coast River email [email protected]